D Day at The Worlds: That’s all folks. It’s over for another season. Finished 44th. Julie Bresset wins. Time to eat mountains of cake

Mountains_of_cake

Today was an odd day. This morning I didn’t feel like I was about to race a World Championship. It was as though I had emotionally clocked out for the season. However, I felt better than I had all week in the warm up and I thought that maybe all was going to be ok. But when the gun went I just couldn’t summon that extra wee bit that I usually have. Whenever I tried to go into the red (which is pretty much where you have to be the entire time in a World Cup or Championship) my body did not respond so I whipped round the very fast, fun course at tempo and hoped that would be enough. It wasn’t quite. Got pulled with a lap to go but it was all I had on the day. It’s hard to deal with when you know you could have performed better on another day with a little more luck in the lead up but that is the nature of racing. You’re only as good as you are in that moment. A good lesson. I’m now off to spend a month living in the moment and not always delaying the gratification of things like beer and cake and spending time with family and friends because I have training or a race to do. October is going to be about being human again. So important to touch this base before the next season begins or bad things happen to your personality, so I am told. Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Mind over matter. Some secrets of race prep

Secrets_race_prep

Well now here’s an interesting revelation. It seems that with all my determination and tenacity once the gun has gone and the race is underway, my mind and body seem to have a habit of letting me down in the preparation phase. This year I have had more illness and injury during preparation than I ever have before. In contrast, I have suffered a double fracture and dislocation of a finger during a World Cup and rode on to get my best ever international result. It’s a very strange thing this preparing for big races. I can be 100% committed during a race but beforehand?
The mind is an immensely powerful thing and must be put to a bike racer’s advantage at all times, not just during the race. In many ways during a race or a hard training session is the easiest time to focus and think positively. It’s in all the space around that time when doubt and questions about self worth can creep in that you must be vigilant. Being a bike racer (or doing anything very well) is a full time thing. A life of constant mastery of emotion and imagination. It’s exhausting. Today is the day before the biggest race of my season. Tomorrow I will be on the start line of The World Championships here in Austria but my preparation has been far from ideal. Ridiculous as it may sound, I have allowed myself to get ill. Like most things in the body I think it is possible to control your immune system to a large extent with the power of positive thought but I have failed again this time. It might sound like I’m being hard on myself but I know what my mind is capable of and it is much more than this. The trick now is not to beat myself up about it and try and get in touch with the strong willed, tenacious, determined me that will be summoned when the race starts. I can still do something. My very best. Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange